Or, Why I’m never accepting anthologies for review again.
I accepted each of these books for review, and read and enjoyed them, for the most part. Then I sat with open tabs for months, trying to figure out how to write the reviews. I’ve now lost the details of the individual stories and writers in my brain, so I thought I’d set down a few overall thoughts on each and call it a day.
Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories edited by Kelly Link
I picked up this book because I’m intrigued by Steampunk, and would like to know more about it. I love the look, I find the concept fascinating.
After reading the stories in this anthology, I’m still a little puzzled about how Steampunk plays out. In general, I enjoyed them, I’m just not certain they all met my image of what Steampunk is.
Steampunk meets the Wild West seems like an interesting variant– the same time period but another location. Steampunk meets ancient prophets and Steampunk meets the Faery world seemed like an interesting something else (I loved the Faery Story, it was one of my favorites in the book).
I think I need to look up a definitive Steampunk work, and base my genre impressions off of that instead.
Some better reviews of this collection:
The Urban Fantasy Anthology edited by Peter S. Beagle and Joe R. Lansdale
It’s hard to rate an anthology. I always go in expecting to skip over some stories as being not for me, so if you leave those out, what remains is at about 4 stars for me.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to review this for the 6 months since I read it, and have finally given up. If I couldn’t figure out what to say before, I’m not going to now.
Overall, I enjoyed my reading. Unfortunately for me, the stories I enjoyed most were by authors I already know and enjoy, so I didn’t add to my list of people to try as much as I’d hoped.
More than confirming that I’m a big fan of Charles de Lint, Peter S. Beagle, and Neil Gaiman, among others, it confirmed that I’m a big fan of the subset of Urban Fantasy they describe as Mythic Fiction, and I that I have mixed opinions on Paranormal Romance. I’d never heard of Noir Fantasy before, and I don’t think I’ll make an effort to find more (although I did enjoy a few of the stories in that section as well).
I’ll recommend this for some good writing, and a chance to try out a collection of styles and authors underneath the Urban Fantasy umbrella.
Some other reviews:
I’m sorry for the lack of detailed reviews on both of these books!